Chamberís economic development efforts integral to stateís success, officials say4.19.2012
Oklahoma Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez also praised northeast Oklahoma and the Chamber for the contribution the region makes to the state’s economic development efforts. The Chamber works closely with the Department of Commerce and the Commerce Secretary on its regional economic development efforts.
Jim Fram, senior vice president of the Chamber’s economic development division, gave a detailed report of the Tulsa’s Future program’s accomplishments. He noted the Tulsa region continues to be a leader in job creation, while many communities across the nation are struggling through their recovery from the protracted economic downturn.
Fram said the Chamber provided assistance for 61 local expansions in 2011. Included in the exciting news was FlightSafety International Inc.’s opening of a $42 million, 375,000 square-foot flight simulator manufacturing facility in Broken Arrow. Direct Energy, one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services companies, announced plans in 2011 to expand its customer operations center in Tulsa, bringing 115 new jobs and more than $7 million in wages to the area.
Early in 2012, Airgas announced plans to open a business support center in downtown Tulsa, bringing an estimated 130 new jobs. Baker Hughes also announced plans earlier this year for a nearly $40 million expansion at its Claremore facility, with a global research and development center slated for completion by 2013.
The Tulsa region’s economic development accomplishments would not be possible without the many partners that participate as Tulsa’s Future investors, Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said, citing major economic development successes and continued economic progress in the region as examples of the Tulsa’s Future plan’s momentum.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett reiterated the importance of a regional approach to economic development, noting that Tulsa and the surrounding communities must be cohesive in their efforts of working toward a brighter future for all of northeast Oklahoma.
Tulsa’s Future Oversight Committee Chair and President and COO of Public Service Company of Oklahoma Stuart Solomon recognized the Tulsa’s Future Oversight Committee and thanked them for their commitment to building a better region.
“Tulsa’s Future has demonstrated a real commitment to bringing together the public sector and the private sector, all of whom have a stake in the region’s economic prosperity,” Solomon said.
Also at the meeting, the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s economic development division received one of the highest distinctions for a program of its kind, accreditation through the International Economic Development Council’s Accredited Economic Development Organization process. The Chamber’s economic development program is the 31st recipient worldwide of the honor.
IEDC reports that Accredited Economic Development Organization status denotes an organization is a leading authority on economic development-related issues.
Denny Coleman, IEDC past chair, commended the Chamber for its accomplishment and said the regional cohesion exemplified by Tulsa’s Future helped the Tulsa region emerge as a national leader.
“The talent you bring to the table every day working for regional economic development is the key to long-term success,” Coleman said.
About Tulsa’s Future
Tulsa’s Future is an ongoing public-private economic development plan led by the Tulsa Metro Chamber. The plan is for a new, more holistic approach for economic development. Business retention, expansion and attraction remain at the core, but small business, workforce attraction and quality of life issues—such as downtown revitalization and education—become a part of a bigger plan for regional economic prosperity. More than 130 public and private sector regional partners support regional economic development efforts through the Tulsa’s Future initiative. Tulsa’s Future also unites 27 organizations representing 16 northeastern Oklahoma communities to enhance the economy and quality of life of the region.
The Tulsa’s Future Oversight Committee identified two primary goals for the plan:
1. Create 10,000 primary, high-value jobs with annual salaries of $50,000 or greater; and
2. Generate a capital investment of $1 billion.
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